Cytotoxicity refers to the ability of a molecule or a compound to cause some type of cellular damage, of which some of the adverse effects that can occur include injuries to some structures or the fundamental processes involved in cell maintenance, such as survival, cell division, cell biochemistry, and the normal cell physiology. The potential for cytotoxicity is one of the first tests that must be performed to determine the effects of drugs, biomolecules, nanomaterials, medical devices, pesticides, heavy metals, and solvents, among others. This potential may be oriented in the mechanism under which it generates cell death, the dose, and the target cells that generate the response. The evaluation of the toxicologic and cytotoxic properties of the chemical substances through in vitro tests has become a competitive alternative to in vivo experimentation as a consequence of ethical considerations. Presently, there are numerous tests conducted to evaluate the cytotoxicity of a certain agent, the selection of which depends on the purpose of the study. In this sense, the present review provides a general overview of the different responses of a cell to xenobiotic agents and the different test that can be useful for evaluation of these responses.
Part of the book: Cytotoxicity